Color: Yellow gold, heavily oaked Chardonnay color with a ring of rather small teardrops around the glass simply refusing to turn into legs and run down.
Nose: Dunnage warehouse and a good amount of sulphur... Unlit matches, wet forest floor and rotting root vegetables. It's not a secret that I have a hate and hate relationship with sulphury whiskies but this one is being strangely ok for me now... Sweaty t-shirts, wet wool and damp basement rugs. Try to recall the smell that hits your nose when you enter a pub at a freezing cold and rainy night: It's crowded, loud, hot in there. The carpet is soaked with rain water and all the windows are steamed up as well as your glasses. That's it... Adding water didn't actually open it up or added anything new but it sure eased down the sulphur on the nose. Oh, wait... Time helps though: Savory pastries, quiche and asparagus. This whisky is constantly growing on me...
Palate: Yeah, it's hot... But before adding water I have to say that it is way more drinkable at this abv. than anyone could imagine. Sulphur is there on the palate as well but I feel the same as I did on the nose: It's oddly enjoyable. Cooked raisins and currants, beef stew and old decaying wood. After adding water: Pain aux raisins (yum...), aged rum and molasses. Considerably sweeter now... Caffe mocha or maybe Mexican hot chocolate and coal gas. Browning butter, rubber hose and crystallized ginger. Wet soot and graphite pencils.
Finish: Long with ground ginger, lime juice and dark chocolate.
Overall: I have to admit when I first nosed it I was like: Oh, no... Not sulphur... But as I described in detail above I slowly but surely started to enjoy it. Somehow in spite of being a six year old whisky it has a distinct dusty character. I am not saying that it necessarily noses and tastes older than it is (which it does actually) but it reminds be young single malt Scotches from 70s and 80s. A great autumn and winter whisky... I am glad that I managed to snatch two bottles.